Russia: Domestic violence law puts women at greater risk

After President Vladimir Putin signed a legal reform that decriminalizes some forms of domestic violence, Anna Kirey, Deputy Director for Campaigns for Russia and Eurasia at Amnesty International, said:
“While the Russian government claims this reform will ‘protect family values’, in reality it rides roughshod over women’s rights. It is a sickening attempt to further trivialize domestic violence, an issue the Russian government has long attempted to downplay. Far too often, victims find they cannot rely on the law for protection and their abusers are let off the hook, with only a tiny fraction imprisoned for their actions.
“In the more than a decade since Amnesty International’s last report on rampant domestic violence in Russia, the authorities have failed to implement a single measure to enhance protection and services for the victims.
“Russia is far behind global developments to protect victims of domestic violence, having very scarce measures in place such as government-funded shelters, effective practices of protection orders or police officers trained in how to respond to reports about abuse and protect victims.
“Russian authorities must scrap this abusive legislation and put together a comprehensive package of measures to address the vast scale of domestic violence in Russia once and for all.”
Russia is a state party to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The UN’s CEDAW Committee has specifically criticized Russia for its failure to take actions to address domestic violence.
For more information please contact: Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations 416-363-9933 ext 332